CBSG annual report
The Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) is a global volunteer network of over 500 conservation professionals, coordinated by 6 headquarter staff, assisted by 9 regional and national networks on 6 continents. CBSG began in 1979 and has assisted in the development of conservation plans involving over 240 species, through more than 500 workshops held in 67 countries. CBSG collaborates with many zoos and aquaria, universities, non-governmental organisations and corporations; working together will ensure the long-term sustainability of endangered species and ecosystems around the world.
Every year, Action for the Wild receives an annual report from CBSG from the year before. Below is a review of CBSG’s successful work in 2011.
The southern ground hornbill is a globally vulnerable species, with a declining population. They are slow breeders, which use an unusual cooperative breeding strategy. They also live in family groups which require large territories. Due to their complex breeding biology and low reproductive rate, this species is highly susceptible to threats, including conversion of grasslands into forest, cultivation and degradation of habitat, a lack of suitable nesting trees, poisoning and direct persecution, live trade and traditional practices. During 2011, The Southern Ground Hornbill Action Group was formed to coordinate conservation activities, while a breeding programme in Africa manages the ex situ population of hornbills. Field and zoo conservationists work together on this project harvesting and rearing second chicks from wild nests, who often don’t survive, to provide birds for release into the wild.
In Northern Mexico and the surrounding areas, written accounts of jaguars date back to 1540. Since then, human encroachment has led to a gradual decline in jaguar populations. In the 1980’s it was thought they were extinct throughout the northernmost portion of their range in south-western United States. However hopes were renewed with sightings in Arizona and New Mexico. The US Fish and Wildlife Service thus initiated a recovery planning process with the goal of recovering the species throughout its range. This will be done by managing the north-western breeding population and jaguar movement corridors.
There are around 85 million cats that are owned in the US, with a further 70 million being stray or feral (unowned). Many of these cats show significant welfare deficits, as well as transmitting diseases across multiple species, and may be major sources of predation on native bird and small animal populations. So in 2011, CBSG’s first collaborative project took place with the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs (ACC&D). The project focuses on the health and welfare of companion animals and the humane management of free-roaming cats and dogs.
There are no more than 9,000 West Indian manatees left in the wild, and most of the current population is found in the United States, Mexico and Belize. The species as a whole is classed as vulnerable by IUCN, however the 2 subspecies of this manatee are considered to be endangered. This is down to small and fragmented populations, along with threats such as ship collisions, hunting, entanglement in fishing nets and habitat loss. Manatee populations straddle international boundaries, so in 2004 it was recognised there needed to be a regional conservation approach for this species. In 2010, a Regional Management Plan was developed and during 2011 population modelling took place. This was used to evaluate the effects of a variety of management actions, including population supplementation through translocations. It is now hoped regional activities can work together to promote manatee conservation in the Caribbean.
Sierra Leone is home to the second largest wild population of the endangered western chimpanzee. There are estimated to be 5,500 chimpanzees living in the country, with more than half of them living outside protected areas, which can lead to conflict with local communities. Numbers of this ape are declining due to hunting for bushmeat or retaliation for crop raiding, habitat loss, logging and mining, and other threats. During 2011, a Population and Habitat Viability Assessment workshop was held to facilitate a positive conservation change for chimpanzees in Sierra Leone. The outcome of the workshop has let to high priority actions which include improving the knowledge of specific chimpanzee populations, reviewing existing conservation legislations, promoting awareness of chimpanzee conservation, strengthening environmental education and establishing a network of national parks. It is hoped all these actions will help this endangered ape.
Over 2012, CBSG will continue with even more workshops and continue with the ‘One Plan Approach’ in integrated species conservation planning, thus allowing conservation planning to become commonplace and effective. They will also revise and update the wildlife disease epidemiology software package ‘Outbreak’, making it a more powerful tool in understanding and managing disease wildlife systems. During the later part of the year, CBSG hope to publicise the newly revised IUCN Guide to Wildlife Disease Risk Analysis. This will provide a practical tool for the wildlife disease management community.
Picture of a Manatee (c) CBSG
Penguin Census Report from Peru
The Punta San Juan (PSJ) team had another busy year in 2012. An...
Project update on the 3 radio collared carnivores in Namibia
In the months following the release of a female cheetah and her...
Supported Projects for 2013
For 2013, Colchester Zoo’s charitable arm, Action for the Wild,...
Donation sent to Wae Wuul Project in Flores and review of activities in 2011
The Komodo dragon Varanus komodoensis is endemic to five islands...
Save Africa's Elephants - Help Ban the Thai Ivory Trade
Across the savannas and forests of Africa, tens of thousands of...